Taking a moment to look forward

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

The Yahoo! Sports monthly boxing poll remained the same for the second consecutive month, as none of the top 10 fighters were in action in the last 30 days.

But even though there were no changes from April to May, it doesn't mean I can't speculate what changes there will be in the poll a year from now.

It's fairly easy to pinpoint who won't be in the poll. Former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who is ninth in the current poll, will be 44 at that point and almost certainly will be retired.

You can make a reasonable case for any of the rest of the top 10 remaining in the rankings a year from now. Top-ranked Floyd Mayweather Jr. has hinted not too subtly at retirement, and he'll probably make those hints more loudly if he defeats Oscar De La Hoya in their September rematch, a 2009 fight with No. 4 Miguel Cotto will be too lucrative to bypass.

It's likely, even, that Mayweather and Cotto could wind up meeting on Cinco de Mayo weekend 2009 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas for supremacy not only in the welterweight division but in the pound-for-pound rankings, as well.

Manny Pacquiao, surprisingly, is another who could drop from the poll entirely or take a significant dip from his perch at No. 2. There are more than a few whispers in boxing circles that he hasn't been training particularly hard for his June 28 lightweight title bout against champion David Diaz.

And while Pacquiao is skilled enough to handle Diaz, he must be trained properly, because the gritty Diaz is going to come and come. Pacquiao has been mentioned also as a possible opponent for both Ricky Hatton and De La Hoya, both of whom are considerably bigger and would be heavily favored against him.

So there could be plenty of changes, especially near the top, 12 months from now. But let's deal with the present and take a look at the current rankings:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Points: 196 (17 of 20 first-place votes)
Record: 39-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring welterweight champion.
Last outing: TKO 10 over Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8
Previous ranking: 1
Up next: Rematch on Sept. 18 vs. Oscar De La Hoya
Analysis: Is he dodging No. 4 Miguel Cotto?

2. Manny Pacquiao

Points: 171 (1 of 20 first-place votes)
Record: 46-3-2 (35 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring super featherweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15
Previous ranking: 2
Up next: June 28 in Las Vegas vs. David Diaz for WBC lightweight title
Analysis: Late start to training camp may be telling.

3. Joe Calzaghe

Points: 145 (2 of 20 first-place votes)
Record: 45-0 (32 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion
Last outing: W12 over No. 9 Bernard Hopkins on April 19
Previous ranking: 3
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Doesn't always sit down on his punches, drawing some criticism as a slapper,

4. Miguel Cotto

Points: 138
Record: 32-0 (26 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing: TKO 5 over Alfonso Gomez on April 12
Previous ranking: 4
Up next: July 26 title defense vs. Antonio Margarito in Las Vegas
Analysis: Deserves shot at No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr.

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

Points: 126
Record: 48-4-1 (35 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 2 Manny Pacquiao on March 15
Previous ranking: 5
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Outstanding boxer with all-around skills

6. Israel Vazquez

Points: 104
Record: 43-4 (31 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring super bantamweight champion
Last outing: W12 over No. 8 Rafael Marquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 6
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Why not do it a fourth time with Marquez?

7. Kelly Pavlik

Points: 81
Record: 33-0 (29 KOs)
Title: WBC, WBO and The Ring middleweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Jermain Taylor on Feb. 16
Previous ranking: 7
Up next: June 7 in Atlantic City, N.J., vs. Gary Lockett
Analysis: Whispers he may face Calzaghe at end of the year

8. Rafael Marquez

Points: 43
Record: 37-5 (33 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 6 Israel Vazquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 8
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Very strong chin to move up in weight and survive what he did from Vazquez.

9. Bernard Hopkins

Points: 33
Record: 48-5 (32 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 3 Joe Calzaghe on April 19
Previous ranking: 9
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Faded badly late in fight against Calzaghe

10. Ivan Calderon

Points: 16
Record: 31-0 (6 KOs)
Title: WBO and The Ring junior flyweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Nelson Dieppa on April 5
Previous ranking: 10

Up next: Defends titles vs. Hugo Cazares on Aug. 31 in Puerto Rico
Analysis: Brilliant boxer lacks sorely in power.

Others receiving votes: Cristian Mijares, 12; Chris John, 9; David Haye, 8; Ricky Hatton, 6; Antonio Margarito, 6; Winky Wright, 4; Mikkel Kessler, 3; Shane Mosley, 2; Joan Guzman, 1; Arthur Abraham, 1.